The lorry's open back held mattresses, an orange
sofa, a chair covered with a bright flower print, all jumbled together,
all blistering in the hot August sun.
The driver's door opened and a man climbed out and stood gazing up at
the house. He wore a white shirt and a dark tie, and his skin was the
deep color of the bittersweet chocolate her mother used for baking.
A woman slid from the passenger side, her pumps clicking against the
pavement as she touched the ground. Like her husband, she was smartly
dressed, her shirtwaist dress crisply pressed, and as she stood beside
him she looked up at the house with an expression of dismay. He smiled
and touched her arm, then turned towards the bed of the lorry and called
From amid the boxes and bundles emerged a girl of about her own age
with thin, bare, brown legs and a pink ruffled dress. Next came a boy,
a year or two older, tall and gangly. It seemed to her that the family
had blown in on the hot wind from somewhere infinitely more exotic than
this dingy London neighborhood of terraced houses with peeling plasterwork:
somewhere filled with co|ors and fragrances she had only imagined. They
trooped up the steps together and into the house, and the street seemed
suddenly lifeless without them.
When it became apparent that they were not going to reappear right away,
she hugged herself in frustration. She would tell someone, then, but
who? Her mother wouldn't be back for an hour or two, but her father
would be at the café, his usual custom after a good morning's
trading at his jewelry stall.
Leaping from the steps, she ran. Down Westbourne Park into Portobello,
nimbly dodging the fruit-and-veg stalls, then round the corner into
Elgin Crescent. She came to a halt in front of the café, pressing
her nose against the glass as she caught her breath. Yes, there he was,
just visible at his favorite table in the back. Smoothing her dress,
she slipped through the open door into the café's dim interior.
The patrons sat in shirtsleeves, men reading Polish newspapers and filling
the hot, still air with a heavy cloud of smoke from their pipes and
She coughed involuntarily and her father looked up, frowning. "What
are you doing here, little one? Is something wrong? "
He always thought something was wrong. She supposed he worried so because
of his time in the war, although he never talked about that. In 1946,
newly demobbed, her father had arrived in England with her mother, determined
to put the war behind him and make a life for himself as a jeweler and
In spite of her precipitous arrival nine months later, he had done well.
Better than some of the other men in the café, she knew, but
still he clung to the things that reminded him of the old country: the
smell of borscht and pierogi, the dark paneling hung with Polish folk
art, and the company of buxom waitresses with hennaed hair.
"No, nothing's wrong," she answered. sliding onto the banquette
beside him. "And I'm not little. I wish you wouldn't call me that,
"So, why does my very grown-up daughter come rushing through the
door like a dervish?"
"We have new neighbors in the house next door. "
"And what's so special about that? " he asked, still teasing.
"They're West Indian," she whispered, aware of the turning
of heads. "A father and mother and two children, a boy and a girl,
about my age."
Her father considered her news for a moment in his deliberate way, then
shook his head.
"Trouble, it will mean trouble."
"But they look very nice"
"It doesn't matter. Now you go home and wait for your mother, and
stay away from these people. I don't want you getting hurt. Promise
Hanging her head, she muttered, "Yes, Poppy," but she did
not meet his eyes.
Deborah Crombie, And Justice There Is None, 2002
1. a) Which of the following titles best suits the
whole passage ? Tick your answer.
- moving in
- moving out
- making new friends
- going to the market
b) Justify your choice by a quotation. Give the number of the line.
2. What country and city is the passage set in ?
3. Which characters do the underlined words designate
l. 11 "From amid the boxes and bundles emerged a girl of about
her own age."
a girl : ______________________________________________________
her : _______________________________________________________
l. 17 "they were not going to reappear right away."
they : ______________________________________________________
l.23 "Yes, there he was."
he : ________________________________________________________
l.38 "I wish you wouldn't call me that, Poppy"
Poppy : _____________________________________________________
4. a) The reader is made to view these scenes through
the eyes of one of the characters. Which one ? Justify your answer by
quoting from the text.
b) Circle the right answer :
This character is of
Justify your answer by quoting the text. Give the
number of the line.
5. Where do you think the main character is at the
beginning of the passage ?
6. a) What is this character's state of mind ?
b) Pick out elements from the text to justify your
answer. Give the numbers of the lines.
7. What does this character decide to do next ? What
8. How does the man react to this sudden arrival
? What does it reveal about his personality ? Answer in your own words
and justify by a quotation. Give the number of the line.
9. Right or wrong ? Circle your answer. Justify each
time by a quotation. Give the number of the line.
1. Poppy has forgotten all about his roots.
2. He was a child when he arrived in Britain.
3. He wanted to forget the war and its hardships.
4. His life in Britain is a success.
10. l.42 "They're West Indian", she whispered,
aware of the turning of heads.
Explain why 'she' suddenly spoke in a lower voice. (20 words)
11. l.45 "Trouble, it will mean trouble ".
Analyse the man's reaction to the news. (20 words)
l.46 "But they look very nice-". Using
elements taken from the passage from line 1 to line 16, analyse the
girl's vision of the newcomers.
12. What may the last 4 lines suggest as to her feelings
and intentions ? (30 words)